River Wissey Lovell Fuller

School Planning

November 2003

Ron takes Chris Young to task

Dear Ray.

I am not sure on what authority Chris Young is able to tell us that the proposed new High School will be open to all children with no discrimination on the grounds of their parents' religion or beliefs. Certainly, if it is true, it is very much welcome news. When I raised the question with the Norfolk Education Dept I was told that admissions policy would be a matter for the school governors when they are appointed, but I assume and hope that Chris is expressing the view of the Churches and hope that this view is most likely to prevail.

I was interested to learn that the initiative to investigate the possibility of a new school came from the 'Churches Together Council in Downham'. They are to be applauded for their efforts but it is a sad reflection on the County Council that they needed this initiative before addressing such an obvious need.

I have to admit that my views on the indoctrination that takes place in CofE and Catholic primary schools have been obtained from past experience, most recently, however, they have arisen from speaking to my six year old granddaughter who attends The James Bradfield school. It is clear that she has been taught, and now believes, that "God Is" and that He and Jesus live somewhere up there above the clouds. As Chris said, one would expect a church school to have the confident ethos that "GOD IS and not that he might just possibly be or not", but then, in the same paragraph Chris denies that children are given blunt indisputable facts! Surely stating that God is and not that he might be is exactly that, i.e. presenting a questionable theory as a blunt indisputable fact. How can he claim that "children are left to make up their own minds" if they are only presented with one view and presented with that as though it is fact. Does he not see that this is indoctrination? Needless to say our granddaughter has not been taught anything at scholl of other religions that are followed with equal conviction to that of the Christian religion.

Much credit is due to the Churches for their initiative in relation to the new High School but, according to the report that I have read, if the project goes ahead, 90% of the funding will come from the State via the County Council and the County will bear the running costs. I am concerned at the extent of influence the Churches might have as a consequence of their 10% input and I reiterate my view that schools supported by the public purse should be free from sectarian control or influence.

Ron Watts

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